Modern Family

The most gay-friendly comedy and reality television shows were honoured at the second 2011 GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

Celebrities who attended the event included Colin Farrell, Chris Colfer, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Melissa Etheridge and Chaz Bono.

There was a tie in the category of Outstanding Comedy Series, with both the musical series Glee and Modern Family being awarded the honours this year.

Project Runway, the popular fashion reality show, having completed its 8th season, was acknowledged as Outstanding Reality Program.

Emmy and Tony-winning American singer and actress, Kristin Chenoweth – who is best known for her roles in The West Wing and Pushing Daisies – was presented with the Vanguard Award by Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes.

The award is presented to a member of the entertainment community who has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for LGBT people. In 2010, Chenoweth publically challenged a controversial Newsweek article which claimed that gay actors cannot play straight roles.

The comedy film I Love you Philip Morris, starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as prison lovers, received the award for Outstanding Film – Limited Release.

Country music legend Dolly Parton made a surprise appearance to present the Chairman of NBC Entertainment, Robert Greenblatt, with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award.

He was honoured – as an only gay man – for bringing LGBT characters to the small screen in shows such as The L Word, Queer as Folk, Six Feet Under and United States of Tara.

“I salute all the producers, writers, network executives, and actors who took on the issue and broke ground way before I did – and who continue to do it today,” said Greenblatt in his acceptance speech.

“While we still have a long way to go, we have made great strides both politically and in our media. May that not only continue, but increase in velocity… because we can help change the way the world thinks about LGBT people, not to mention how LGBT people think about themselves.”

Spiderman actress Kirsten Dunst presented a Special Recognition award to Bianca “Nikki” Peet, a 17-year-old student from Corpus Christi, Texas, for her efforts to organise a Gay Straight Alliance at her high school after her principal originally prohibited the group.

The event was hosted by comedienne Amy Poehler and actress Rashida Jones and follows last month’s GLAAD Media Awards ceremony in New York. A third and final 2011 awards ceremony will take place in San Francisco on 14 May.

The GLAAD Media Awards recognise and honour media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives.

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